Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Not retired...........Self Employed

It's happened again, I was putting things out on the stall this morning, when someone we know slightly, who still works for the County Council, stopped for eggs on his way to work and said how lucky C was to have got out of the council by retiring early. He is NOT retired, we have NO pension. Everyone thinks he was offered early retirement and it was a year after he finished work before one of his family realised that we were not living off a Council pension.

Anyway, now I've got that off my chest I must say thank-you to Dawn, dc, Karen, mamasmercantile, theaspiringfrugalista, hazzy, Jake'sagirl, outmywindow, Julee, Fran, Vicki, Gill, em,Kate, Pam, and knitbakecultivate for comments yesterday. Sorry I didn't get round to replying and I haven't left comments on hardly any other blogs either. More hours needed.

Another busy day today as I made a double sized batch of Stretched Strawberry Jam. It's stretched by adding 1lb of gooseberries to each 2lb of strawberries. Strawberries on their own don't make a jam that sets so the gooseberries help and because of the way it's made you can't see or taste the gooseberries and I also chuck in a sachet of powdered pectin too.

Strawberry and Gooseberry Jam
2lb Strawberries, fresh or frozen
1lb gooseberries , ditto
3lb sugar
Half sachet of pectin

The night before. Put Strawberries in a bowl and cover with sugar. If the strawberries are fresh stand the bowl in the fridge, if they are frozen leave it out but cover with a clean cloth or cling film.
If using frozen gooseberries get them out of the freezer.

Next day put the gooseberries in a saucepan with  a very small amount of water ( just enough to stop them catching on the pan). Bring to boil gently and cook slowly until the are mushy. I usually mash them with a potato masher once they are soft.

Put the strawberries and sugar mix in a jam pan and bring to the boil slowly, stirring well until the sugar has dissolved. Then cook gently until the strawberries are soft. Tip the gooseberries in, mix everything together and bring to the boil. Add the powdered pectin and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and test a spoonful for set on a plate that's been in the freezer. The jam should wrinkle when you push it gently with your finger. If it doesn't, cook for another couple of minutes although the pectin should make it set after 4 minutes.
Leave to stand for a few minutes, skim off scum and stir so the strawberries don't rise.
Pot into jars that have been in a hot oven to sterilise.

My double sized batch made nearly 10 jars of jam.

I had just got to the last stage of making the jam when the phone rang 4 times and 3 were campsite enquiries. Tonight we have 1 caravan, 4  motor-homes and 2 tents on site which is quite unusual for a midweek night.

C has been fixing the new plywood floor onto his big trailer base. The wood was free and rescued from a place where it was about to be chucked out and then this afternoon we had a skip load of old wood emptied out by the wood shed. Also free.That means more free heat for the winter.

Welcome to Maria and Karan who have clicked the bloglovin' button.

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